Jardins da Quinta das Lágrimas
Gardens, Parks and Forests
Located in Coimbra, on the left bank of the River Mondego, the Quinta das Lágrimas estate occupies a total area of 18.3 hectares. In the centre you'll find a 19th-century palace, that now operates as a luxury hotel, surrounded by gardens filled with exotic plant species, some of which over 200 years old.
There are woodlands on the southern slope, which are ideal for taking long walks, complemented by the recently created Mediaeval Garden, the first of its kind in Portugal, in homage to the love story between Pedro and Inês. For this garden - where an attempt has been made to create a simple, enclosed environment - around 50 species of plants have been selected, whose existence prior to the Age of the Discoveries can be proven by historical engravings and documents.
The Quinta das Lágrimas estate has been cited as the setting for the forbidden romance between King D. Pedro I and D. Inês de Castro in several of the finest pages of Portuguese literature. However, it's almost certain that their romantic idyll actually took place elsewhere. Nonetheless, the Gardens preserve a canal known as the "Cano dos Amores" (Canal of Love) where, according to legend, the waters transported love letters between the Estate and the Royal Palace. According to history, the same waters were turned red by the blood of D. Inês who was assassinated here and according to popular legend, the marks of her blood can still be seen on the rocks. There's a scientific explanation for this phenomenon - the marks are actually "Hildenbrandia Rivularis" red algae which grows here and spreads its colour. Halfway between reality and fiction, the gardens of the Quinta das Lágrimas estate maintain a romantic atmosphere that's well worth discovering.